Build a statue to Stephen Lawrence: 72,000 ask London Mayor for permanent tribute

More than 72,000 people have signed an online petition calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to build a statue dedicated to Stephen Lawrence.

The petition says a monument dedicated to the teenager, who was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993, would act as a powerful symbol against hatred.

The petition was started by the anti-hate crime charity TELL MAMA director Iman Atta who believes the Lawrence case is still hugely relevant.

He said: “The course for justice is still unclear. In Stephen’s case only two killers have been convicted.

“That’s why it still matters and it’s why I’m calling on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan so that we never forget the plight of Stephen and that of all those who have been persecuted in the UK.”

Stephen Lawrence was just 18 years old when he was murdered in London in 1993.

His attackers were a gang of white youths who had targeted him because of his race.

The case became notorious when police made a number of errors during their investigation, including failing to arrest suspects or to follow obvious leads.

Stephen’s attackers escaped justice until eventually a review led to the conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris in 2012.

The publication of the Macpherson Report in 1999 was a defining moment in the history of British race relations.

Campaigners are hoping the statue will show how far community cohesion in the UK has come.

Mr Khan is open to suggestions for a statue honouring Stephen, pictured above, but admits it is unlikely to be in Trafalgar Square.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The mayor agrees that a statue of Stephen would be a powerful symbol for our city, where we see diversity as our greatest strength.

“City Hall is working with Stephen’s family to see if we can help find the most appropriate location for a statue in his honour.”

The petition has also gained the support of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime.

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